SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 11                                                                               September 19, 2017
Our greeters this morning were Larry Wittkop and his assistant.
We opened our meeting with “America the Beautiful” and Art Ayers returned to offer our invocation.
Our guests today included our speaker, Peter Ferry.
This week we recognized Larry Lewis as a Paul Harris Fellow.  Larry joins at least 61 other South Haven Rotarians, past and present, as Paul Harris Fellows.  Larry joined Rotary in 2006, sponsored by Bob Stickland, who presented Larry with his Paul Harris pin this morning.
We also inducted Jeff Melvin into membership in our club.  Jeff is sponsored by Don Hixson and Tom Rummel.  We will invite Jeff to tell us more about himself at a future meeting.
Bob Boerma was our song leader this morning and had a great set of patriotic songs to direct.  We began with the good old tune "The Yankee Doodle Boy", also well known as "(I'm a) Yankee Doodle Dandy" from the Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones written by George M. Cohan. The play opened at the Liberty Theater on November 7, 1904. The play concerns the trials and tribulations of a fictional American jockey, Johnny Jones (based on the real life jockey Tod Sloan), who rides a horse named Yankee Doodle in the English Derby. Cohan incorporates snippets of several popular traditional American songs into his lyrics of this song, as he often did with his songs.  Our second tune was "You're a Grand Old Flag" is an American patriotic march. The song, a spirited march written by George M. Cohan, is a tribute to the American flag. In addition to obvious references to the flag, it incorporates snippets of other popular songs, including one of his own. Cohan wrote it in 1906 for George Washington, Jr., his stage musical.  We finished with “All Hail to Rotary”, sung to the tune of “Anchors Aweigh" is the fight song of the United States Naval Academy and march song of the United States Navy. It was composed in 1906.
  • Don’t forget the Club Runner App for your phones, it’s a great resource! It now features member birthday and anniversaries.  Hopefully consistent use of Club Runner will keep members aware of their anniversaries and save much grief.  Spokes can also be assessed through this app.
  • Hurricane Harvey and or Irma Relief though Rotary.  If you wish to make a Hurricane Harvey or Irma donation through Rotary, you can do so by writing a check to the Rotary District 6360 Foundation and mail it to the foundation Attention Nan Thompson. C/o Jansen Valk Thompson Reahm PLS, 7171 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.  Please note Hurricane Harvey or Irma Relief in the check’s memo line.
  • Don’t forget the District Foundation Raffle!  Tickets are $25.
  • Snowbirds are reminded to let Bob Straits know when you will be gone and to take care of your financial arrangements prior to leaving.
  • Members are encouraged to move around each week so you get to know your fellow Rotarians, especially new members.
  • Our shirts are slowly being returned.  If you turned yours in, see Dorothy about getting it back or getting a new one.
Bob Brickman had the lucky ticket and had visions of taking the whole pot with him to Florida next week.  Unfortunately, the cards were stacked against him and he will head south penniless or at least without any of our money.  Jim Davis won our $2 prize.  In addition, we had drawings for a number of automotive cleaning items, with Jerry Portman and Jeff Melvin picking up the prizes.  Next week the bucket comes up for the raffle!
  • Tom Renner’s daughter has a birthday later this week.
  • Bob Brickman paid for birthdays for his wife and daughters, clearing up his obligations for the winter.  He will be heading to Florida next week and will be missed by all.
  • Scott Mark remembered his wife’s birthday is this week.
  • Bob Copping celebrated his much older brother’s birthday this week.  All of the birthdays were celebrated with one of the poorest versions of our Ludington style birthday song we have done in a long time.  Well Done!!
  • There were many congratulations offered for the Lions, U of M, MSU, the Broncos, and even the Cubs.  There was hardly any mention of Green Bay, the bears, or the rebuilding Tigers. (small “b” on bears intentional)
  • Art Ayers paid for his missed meetings and for having his picture in the paper.
  • Tom Fleming was not here to announce that everyone with a Shell Rewards Card will get 10 cents off each gallon of gasoline on a fill up on “Big Ten Tuesdays” for the next several weeks, at least.
  • Tom Rummel thanked Tom Renner for the excellent tennis pictures he took for the paper and Facebook.  Tom also got some great shots of last week’s home volleyball match.
  • Jerry Gruber, who will be in San Diego fishing next week, congratulated the SHHS swim team on their excellent improvement so far this year.
  • In a late development, a member pointed out that Bob Straits had his picture in the paper last week, incurring additional fines for Bob.  There could be paybacks.
  • Rhonda Wendzel paid for her picture in the paper.
Bob McAlear introduced our speaker, author Peter Ferry.
Pete, who has been coming to South Haven since he was two weeks old, is a part time resident who lives in Palisades Park and Evanston, Illinois.He has won a number of awards for his writing, and his latest book, Old Heart, was a Chicago Book Award winner.
The story of the book revolves around and 85 year old man whose children were getting him set up in a senior living community.The protagonist, who had recently lost a son he cared for and earlier lost his wife and dog, was not interested in moving there and decided to run away.The book is his story of that run away, including going to the Netherlands to find a woman he had worked with there after WWII. The book is a story of many kinds of love.
Pete is a former English teacher and considers his gift to our world his opportunity to teach and be around young people.He spent a year as an exchange teacher in the Netherlands and told several stories of his experience there and how he developed a love for the Netherlands and the Dutch people.
His final story was about an elderly lady her became friends with when he was a young man and how that experience shaped him.
Peter’s book is available at Black River Books and on Amazon.(he also had cards that can help folks write an Amazon review to make it most effective.)
Bob McAlear thanked Peter for his interesting presentation and presented him with a Rotary pen.
We closed the meeting welcoming Jeff Melvin to our membership and with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Don Hixson will introduce South Haven Center for the Arts Executive Director Thea Grigsby.
Next week’s Greeters:  Dorothy Lockwood and Tom Rummel
Editarian:  Dene Hadden